Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
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Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries
It's common sense that employees who get hurt on the job through no fault of their own should not bear the burden of medical expenses and lost wages. Workers' compensation is designed to cover the expenses associated with work accidents, and there are multiple types of works' compensation injuries which are covered.
Shortly after the turn of the 20th century, American workers began to fight back against injustices committed by employers in the workplace. It took a few decades before several small labor movements coalesced into a powerful national movement that led to the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Passed by the United States Congress at the height of the Great Depression, the FLSA addressed many labor issues, such as minimum wage and overtime compensation. Two decades before the enactment of the FLSA, states began to address another type of workplace issue called workers’ compensation.
Before 1900, workers that sustained injuries in the workplace had no recourse to recover the financial losses of severity.
If you sustained one or more injuries in the workplace, you should reach out to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney who specializes in handling workers’ compensation cases conducts an extensive investigation to determine the cause of your injuries, as well as the extent of your treatment programs and physical therapy sessions. Although employers purchase workers’ compensation as required by state law, far too many employers instruct their insurance companies to deny valid claims.
At Morgan and Morgan, we have represented clients requesting workers’ compensation assistance for more than three decades. The workers’ compensation lawyer assigned to your case not only ensures you file the most persuasive claim but also follows all the deadlines established by state law. With a nationwide presence, the workers’ compensation lawyer assigned to your case by Morgan and Morgan has a deep understanding of the laws established by the state where you live.
Schedule a free case evaluation to learn more about how an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan and Morgan can help you receive just compensation for your workplace injuries.
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What Are the 5 Most Common Types of Workers’ Compensation Injuries?
Workplace accidents that cause harm to employees can occur in any industry, but they happen more often in industries such as construction, hospitality, and home improvement. After more than 30 years of helping clients file convincing workers’ comp claims, our attorneys have come up with a list of the five most common types of workers’ compensation injuries.
Muscle sprains develop when one or more ligaments stretch or tear, while muscle strains involve stretched or torn muscles and tendons. A torn ACL represents a common type of workplace injury for employees that engage in highly physical activities. An improper lifting technique can cause muscle strain in the lower back. Both sprains and strains take time to heal depending on the severity of an injury.
Burns are some of the most widespread types of workplace injuries. This type of injury is a major concern for restaurant workers, especially employees that perform food preparation duties such as grilling and deep frying food. Burns can also be an issue for construction workers that handle highly toxic chemicals as part of their daily routines. Injuries caused by burns cover three levels of severity, with the most severe level requiring emergency medical care. Burns also can develop by inhaling smoke or chemical fumes.
Lacerations represent deep cuts that frequently require stitches to heal. Virtually any employee can sustain a laceration injury, as all it takes is coming in contact with a super-sharp object. Although highly trained, the time constraints placed on healthcare professionals can lead to lacerations when conducting any type of surgical procedure. Lacerations pose more than a health problem because of the bleeding produced by damaged blood vessels. Open wounds such as lacerations pose a high risk of developing infections, some of which can produce life-threatening symptoms.
Jobs involving exposure to heavy equipment and performing highly physical work activities increase the risk of workers sustaining fractures. For example, an employee who slips and falls can fracture a wrist due to the natural reaction to brace a fall by extending one or both arms. Fractures range in severity from simple breaks that heal relatively quickly to compound breaks that can require emergency surgery to prevent additional damage to tendons, muscles, and blood vessels. Another common type of fracture in the workplace concerns fracturing a leg because of a fall from an elevated height.
As the worst possible type of workers’ compensation injury, brain trauma can leave a victim unable to work for the rest of a professional career. Falls are the most common reason why workers sustain brain trauma, which ranges in severity from a mild concussion to internal bleeding in the brain that requires immediate emergency care. Many victims that sustain head trauma take years to rehabilitate enough to resume some type of career. Brain trauma typically requires persistent medical care that runs bills into the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Although your primary focus should be to recover from your injuries after a workplace accident, you eventually have to address the financial implications of medical bills and lost wages. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan and Morgan helps you navigate the steps required to file a claim.
Get Medical Attention
The first step on the road to receiving compensation for your workplace injuries is to receive medical care. For one or more serious injuries, you should seek immediate medical care that might include a visit to the nearest emergency room. If you sustained less serious injuries, you should still have a healthcare provider complete a series of diagnostic tests, as well as apply initial treatment techniques to slow the damage done by your injuries. Getting medical attention generates copies of medical bills and records that you need to submit a strong workers’ compensation claim.
Inform Your Employer
The state where you sustained workplace injuries has set a deadline for you to notify your employer after a workplace accident. Most states give employees at least 30 days to inform employers about a workplace accident that produced one or more injuries. After informing your employer about a workplace accident, your employer files an incident report with the state workers’ compensation board. An incident report should include accurate contact information for both you and your employer. The report also should provide a detailed description of your injuries, as well as an explanation of what transpired before, during, and after the workplace accident.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
With the help of a workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan and Morgan, the third step in the process is to file a claim. If you fail to complete every section of the form, your employer’s insurance company might deny your claim before even reviewing the rest of the information. Your workers’ compensation claim must contain accurate information that is supported by both physical evidence and the statements provided by witnesses. One section of a workers’ compensation claim form requires you to submit photographic evidence depicting your injuries, as well as a written statement presented by the healthcare provider that describes the prognosis of you making a full or partial recovery from your injuries.
Insurance Company Issues a Decision
Although 49 states mandate that employers fund workers’ compensation insurance programs, this does not mean your employer’s insurer automatically approves your claim for just compensation. Workers’ compensation is set up like other types of insurance plans, which means the more claims your employer’s insurance company approves, the higher premiums your employer must pay to continue providing workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer’s insurance company might ask you to complete a second medical evaluation conducted by a healthcare provider selected by the insurer.
Get Back to Work
The key to determining your return to work status depends on the diagnosis you receive from a healthcare provider. If you sustained one or more injuries that caused a permanent disability, the chances are low for you to continue with your career. Receiving a diagnosis of a temporary disability means that at some point, you should be able to return to work, even if it means working in a different position that requires your employer to provide reasonable accommodations. The primary goal of workers’ compensation insurance is to help employees bridge the financial gap caused by workplace injuries.
What Does a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Do?
A workers’ compensation lawyer fulfills many legal responsibilities to help you file the most persuasive claim possible.
Physical evidence plays the most influential role in determining the outcome of a workers’ compensation claim. In addition to submitting copies of medical bills and records, a workers’ compensation lawyer also asks for security camera footage captured from the area of a business where a workplace accident unfolded. Photographs of the accident scene also help your attorney put the pieces of the puzzle together to boost the strength of your workers’ compensation claim. Unlike a personal injury case, your attorney does not collect physical evidence to prove another party committed one or more acts of negligence.
Witnesses are not the source of physical evidence. However, they provide legal support for the physical evidence gathered and organized. One of the most compelling reasons to act with a sense of urgency when filing a workers’ compensation claim regards the reliability of the statements made by witnesses. Your workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan and Morgan wants to interview witnesses as close to the date of the workplace accident as possible. Witness accounts tend to be more accurate the closer they are presented to the date of a workplace accident.
Negotiate a Settlement
If your employer’s insurance company denies your claim, the process for receiving compensation does not come to a screeching halt. In fact, you have two ways to continue the pursuit of the compensation that you deserve. You can file an appeal, but the process takes considerable time before a claim gets resolved. The more appealing option involves your workers’ compensation lawyer negotiating a settlement with your employer’s insurance company. Your attorney submits an offer that can lead to a quick resolution of your claim or a series of counteroffers until both parties find common ground.
If you are suffering because of one of the types of workers' compensation injuries mentioned, schedule a free case evaluation today with a workers’ compensation lawyer at Morgan and Morgan to file a claim that gets you approved for financial assistance.